Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nudity on the iPad

Another week, another jab at Steve Jobs' hypocrisy. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, yes indeed, I've happened across yet another example of how the Apple CEO is full of it when he claims the company's mobile products are "free from porn."

A number of media reported back in June that UK tabloid The Sun was able to sneak "porn" into Apple's app store, simply because it's a "legitimate" business. I particularly liked the Wall Street Journal's headline - "How to get your porn app into iTunes: Wrap a newspaper around it."

The Sun is, of course, well known for its topless page three girl, and its app essentially replicates each day's paper - nudity and all. While a topless woman could hardly be considered "porn" by most people's definition, the point is valid nevertheless. Apple is rejecting apps from smaller developers for much less, like girls in bikinis, but when it comes to a major newspaper - which means lots of dollars for Jobs & Co. - a little nudity is just fine.

I was wondering, given the stink kicked up by the media when word of this situation got out, whether Apple had somehow moved to rectify it, so I shelled out for the $7.99 app to see for myself. Nope - months later, the bare boobs are present in all their glory.

Oh, but you do get a warning before you download the app that it contains some adult content. As you long as you press the button vowing that you're over 17, you're good to go.

That seems to be the worst part of it. The laughable age verification only compounds the hypocrisy - why not apply the same rules to all developers, big or small? The answer, in this case actually comes down to branding, which is what makes Apple's supposed moral stance against porn all the more galling.


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